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Release Number: 10-1215-PHI
Sept. 2, 2010
Contact: Leni Fortson
Phone: 215-861-5102
E-mail: uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Blandon, Pa., brass foundry
$550,400 for exposing workers to lead and other workplace hazards

BLANDON, Pa. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued citations to Kief Industries Inc., doing business as Excelsior Brass Works. The citations allege the company knowingly exposed workers to lead hazards and violated federal workplace safety and health standards at its Blandon facility. Proposed penalties total $550,400.

"The employer deliberately refused to protect workers from overexposure to lead and other workplace hazards. Even though company management knew of the OSHA requirements and the workers' lead exposures, it failed to provide medical surveillance to monitor worker health and to train its workers about lead-exposure risks," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. "OSHA will use the full extent of the law to ensure employers are held accountable for failing to protect workers."

Following its investigation, OSHA cited Excelsior Brass Works for willful and serious violations of the lead standard, which requires employers to protect their workers from lead exposure. Lead can cause brain damage, paralysis, kidney disease and even death.

The willful citations allege the company did not take air samples as required for workers who were over-exposed to airborne lead, and it did not provide the required annual training about lead-exposure hazards. Willful citations also allege failures to provide the required medical surveillance for the lead-exposed workers and to make available the results of medical tests performed shortly after OSHA came to the facility and opened the inspection. An additional willful violation alleges that the company stopped providing hearing tests to employees over-exposed to noise. Willful violations are those committed with